In my masters degree exhibition titled S(h)elves, I engage with the phenomena of collecting and hoarding on a personal level. Through intra- and interpersonal relationships with my father, my husband, and myself, I explore how people surround themselves with objects that become a reflection of their owner.
Through the medium of installation I invite the viewer to immerse themselves in the density of these living spaces, offering a glimpse into their complex and idiosyncratic personas. The exhibition offers a sympathetic view of anyone who was ever faced with a mass of objects that are, on the surface, meaningless, but really form the fabric of their lives.
"In being able to walk into these deeply immersive environments as a viewer/participant, I felt as if I was able to physically, mentally and emotionally ‘experience’ or ‘know’ the person represented, albeit at a remove.
Walking into and around The Stamp Collector, for example, I felt physically engulfed in the space; I could imagine what it might feel like to lie on the sparsely clad bed, or work at the old-fashioned wooden desk. I was drawn towards and into particular objects that held particular fascination for me. Each of the installations, and particularly The Stamp Collector, had a strong affective impact on me as viewer/participant, prompting memories of people who had been close to me, through recollection of their domestic environments and the objects contained within them.
These installations thus provided a catalyst for my own re-collections. They prompted a deeply immersive experience on many levels: I experienced a strong sense of visual, auditory, sensory, emotional, intellectual, and bodily absorption, both in the microcosm of the detail and the macrocosm of the whole, with the amassing of objects contributing to a seemingly infinite layering of meaning upon meaning."
Prof Leora Farber, 2018